MAKKAH    -   Prime Minister Imran Khan performed Umrah in Makkahtul Mukarrmah early Friday.

The prime minister’s wife Bushra Begum also accompanied him during the holy rituals. The prime minister also had a rare opportunity to enter the Holy Ka’aba as the door was especially opened for him.

During Umrah, the prime minister prayed for the prosperity and stability of the country.

Later, the prime minister reached Madinah and paid his respects at Roza-e-Rasool (Peace Be Upon Him), offered Nawafil at Masjid-e-Nabvi and prayed for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Hujra-e-Raza-e-Rasool was specially opened for the prime minister on this occasion, a statement issued by the PM Media Wing in Islamabad said.

Upon arrival in Madinah from Jeddah, Prime Minister Imran Khan was received at Madinah Airport by Deputy Governor of Madinah Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal, Saudi officials, Pakistan’s Deputy Counsel General Shaiq Bhutto and other Consulate officers.

The prime minister had arrived in Saudi Arabia Thursday on a two-day official visit where he held talks with the Saudi leadership on important issues.

BILATERAL TIES REAFFIRMED

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have reaffirmed resolve to enrich their deep and multi-faceted relationship as Prime Minister Imran Khan concluded his two-day official visit to the Kingdom on Friday.

During his meetings with the Saudi leadership, the Prime Minister strongly condemned the recent attacks on oil installations in Abqaiq and Khurais and assured Pakistan’s commitment to Saudi Arabia against any threat to its security and territorial integrity.

On Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted the dire human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the grave risks posed to peace and security in the aftermath of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August.

The prime minister stressed for the urgent lifting of curfew in IKJ&K and resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.

He also highlighted the pivotal role of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in extending consistent support for the Kashmir cause.

The Saudi leadership expressed concern over the IOJ&K situation and reiterated its steadfast support and solidarity for the Kashmir cause. It was agreed to continue to work together for peace, security and a peaceful resolution.

The prime minister held separate meetings with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman.

A high-level delegation accompanied the prime minister including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari and other senior officials.

Extending a warm welcome to the prime minister, the Saudi leadership underscored that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan was based on “real brotherhood”.

On the bilateral ties, the prime minister recalled the visit of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to Pakistan in February 2019 and noted that it had imparted a strong momentum to the growth trajectory of the relationship.

The two sides reiterated the resolve to further intensify bilateral trade, energy, investment and people-to-people contacts.

The prime minister conveyed sincere gratitude for Pakistan’s inclusion in the Road-To-Makkah Project and hoped for its extension to other major cities in Pakistan.

This was Prime Minister Imran Khan’s fourth visit to Saudi Arabia after assuming office in August 2018. His last visit was in May 2019 to attend the 14th Session of the OIC Islamic Summit in Makkah.

The long-standing Pakistan-Saudi fraternal ties are marked by trust, understanding, mutual support and standing by each other. Saudi Arabia hosts the largest number of Pakistani diaspora anywhere in the world.

It is also among the founding members of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir.

The two countries have established the Saudi-Pak Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC), co-chaired by the Prime Minister and the Crown Prince. Its next session is due to be held in February 2020.